What are the consequences of dialect barrier between British English and American English?

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A dialect is a form of a language specific to an area or group. Dialect can affect changes in pronunciation, usage, and grammar. Additionally, it can account for the use of totally different terms altogether or for the failure of idioms to translate from one dialect to the next. A dialect barrier occurs when two individuals may not understand each other, despite both individuals speaking the same language. You might experience this as not being able to understand someone’s “accent”, not being familiar with their word choice or terminology, or not understanding certain expressions. Language can also be influenced by culture. Even within the same country, many dialects can emerge. For example, in the United States, a long sandwich can be referred to as a “hero”, a “hoagie”, or a “sub”. This variation in word choice can cause a language barrier, although obviously one that is easily overcome.

In the case of American English and British English, the most obvious difference is accent, or the way words are pronounced. This can affect an American and a Brit’s ability to understand one another, even when using the same words.

An additional barrier is vocabulary or word choice. For example, in America, groceries are put into a cart. In Britain, they are put into a trolley. In America, a trolley is a form of transportation that runs on cables. There are many such distinctions that can cause miscommunications.

The important thing to remember is that these dialect barriers are easy to overcome with persistence and communication. Americans and Brits can enjoy each other’s television, books, and music. They can be friends or even in romantic relationships with just a tiny bit of extra effort to understand one another.

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